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Biden Administration Questions New York's Handling of Migrant Crisis - The New York Times

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  gregtx  •  9 months ago  •  5 comments

By:   Luis Ferre-Sadurni (nytimes)

Biden Administration Questions New York's Handling of Migrant Crisis - The New York Times
Alejandro N. Mayorkas, the homeland security secretary, said the federal government had identified "structural and operational issues" in New York City's response to the migrant crisis.

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Alejandro N. Mayorkas, the homeland security secretary, said the federal government had identified "structural and operational issues" in New York City's response to the migrant crisis.

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28ny-migrants-01-jwlb-articleLarge.jpg?quality=75&auto=webp&disable=upscale Alejandro Mayorkas, the Homeland Security secretary, seemed to dampen hopes that the Biden administration would answer New York officials' calls to help with the migrant crisis.Credit...Julia Nikhinson for The New York Timesauthor-luis-ferre-sadurni-thumbLarge.png

By Luis Ferre-Sadurni

Published Aug. 28, 2023Updated Aug. 29, 2023, 9:51 a.m. ET

For months, as thousands of migrants seeking asylum have arrived in New York City, local officials have pleaded for Washington to intervene , urging the White House to help stem a spiraling humanitarian crisis that has strained city resources.

On Monday, the Biden administration offered its most substantive response yet, but hardly the one that city officials wanted. Instead of granting the most pressing requests for assistance, the administration sought to question the city's handling of the crisis.

In letters to city and state officials, Alejandro N. Mayorkas, the Homeland Security secretary, said the federal government had identified "structural and operational issues" in the city's response to the crisis, suggesting about two dozen recommendations "to strengthen the city's migrant operations."

"The structural issues include governance and organization of the migrant operations, including issues of authority, structure, personnel, and information flow," Mr. Mayorkas wrote in separate letters to Mayor Eric Adams and Gov. Kathy Hochul on Sunday. "The operational issues include the subjects of data collection, planning, case management, communications, and other aspects of the day-to-day operations."

The two-page letters did not go into detail on the problems, nor did they specify the government's recommendations. Instead, federal officials briefed local officials on the specifics during a private meeting on Monday.

The letters seemed to open yet another round of recriminations and blame shifting among Democratic leaders grappling with the arrival of more than 100,000 migrants in New York City. The surge of newcomers crossing the southern border has overwhelmed city shelters and led to the opening of more than 200 emergency sites, sparking some protests, including outside Gracie Mansion over the weekend.

The influx has heightened tensions between Albany and City Hall, with both sides pointing to shortcomings in the other's response: The governor's team has accused the city of refusing state help, while the mayor has called on the governor to take a more hands-on approach.

But the crisis has increasingly pitted Ms. Hochul and Mr. Adams against Mr. Biden, a fellow Democrat. They have repeatedly urged the president to take more aggressive steps, including by fast-tracking work permits for migrants to give them a financial footing and enable them to move from temporary shelters.

Mr. Mayorkas's letters, which were obtained by The New York Times and first reported by Politico, came less than a week after Ms. Hochul delivered an address where she forcefully urged Mr. Biden to step in, declaring that "this crisis originated with the federal government." Mr. Adams has for months voiced his exasperation with the White House, fraying his relationship with Mr. Biden.

In the letters, Mr. Mayorkas said the recommendations were put together by a Department of Homeland Security assessment team that spent four days visiting city shelters and meeting with local officials earlier this month. Mr. Mayorkas noted the federal government recently granted New York's request to house migrants in a hangar at Kennedy Airport and at Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn, and said it had identified 11 other federal sites that could be repurposed.

In response to the letters, Ms. Hochul and Mr. Adams noted the federal government had failed to address their main request for expedited permits to allow migrants to work while they wait on their asylum cases.

Avi Small, a spokesman for the governor, said "this crisis will only abate once the federal government takes action on work authorization that allows migrants to be resettled permanently."

State officials also said that many of the 11 sites the federal government identified were far from New York City, which the governor has said is where many migrants want to stay.

City Hall officials detailed other steps Mr. Biden could take, such as the declaration of a federal emergency to bring in federal funds and the enactment of a national "decompression strategy at the border."

"New Yorkers deserve the facts, so let's be clear: Our requests from the federal government remain the same, and quite frankly, unaddressed," Kayla Mamelak, a spokeswoman for Mr. Adams, said in a statement. "Today's conversation also did not address the situation on the ground where thousands of asylum seekers continue to arrive in our city with no end in sight."

Work permits have become a flashpoint.

Migrants applying for asylum need to wait at least 180 days, sometimes even longer, before they are allowed to work legally in the United States, leaving them in limbo or forcing them into the underground economy.

New York Democrats have called on the federal government to shorten the waiting period and reduce backlogs, insisting Mr. Biden can take executive action to speed up parts of the process. Mr. Mayorkas wrote that federal officials were "exploring all options available to improve operational efficiency," but White House officials have said that any significant reforms would need an act of Congress.

Organizations aiding recent arrivals were not impressed by the most recent round of squabbling on Monday.

"We need all three levels of government working cooperatively to address the many challenges, rather than engaging in endless finger-pointing in the press," the Legal Aid Society said in a statement.

Emma Fitzsimmons contributed reporting.

A correction was made on Aug. 29, 2023:

A previous version of this article misstated the location of Floyd Bennett Field. It is in Brooklyn, not Queens.

How we handle corrections

Luis Ferre-Sadurni is the Albany bureau chief and covers New York State politics. He joined The Times in 2017 and previously wrote about housing for the Metro desk. He is originally from San Juan, Puerto Rico.More about Luis Ferre-Sadurni

A version of this article appears in print on , Section A, Page 13 of the New York edition with the headline: Administration Faults New York's Handling of Migrants. Order Reprints | Today's Paper | Subscribe

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GregTx
PhD Guide
1  seeder  GregTx    9 months ago

Personally, I find the Biden administration's questioning of how anyone else handles migrants ironic....

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
2  Texan1211    9 months ago
Work permits have become a flashpoint. Migrants applying for asylum need to wait at least 180 days, sometimes even longer, before they are allowed to work legally in the United States, leaving them in limbo or forcing them into the underground economy.

Sounds real wise, doesn't it--let in hundreds of thousands at least but let's not let them work so they become dependent on taxpayer funds which they are not entitled to.

Does this Biden Admin. ever have a freaking CLUE?

 
 
 
GregTx
PhD Guide
2.1  seeder  GregTx  replied to  Texan1211 @2    9 months ago
forcing them into the underground economy

OMG,what is that? Does that mean crime?.....

 
 
 
GregTx
PhD Guide
3  seeder  GregTx    9 months ago

512

 
 
 
GregTx
PhD Guide
4  seeder  GregTx    9 months ago

lo que sea..

 
 

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